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Candidates Q and A: Improved public transit

Candidates from the four major parties were asked to respond to questions about key issues in the upcoming provincial election
20150829 Barrie GO Transit KA 346
Kenneth Armstrong/Village Media file photo

GuelphToday asked the candidates running for the four major parties in Guelph a series of questions about the upcoming election.

Tonight's question: 'What are your thoughts on the province supporting improved public transit?'

Raechelle Devereaux, Liberal: 

By improving movement across our city and our province, we improve opportunities for our community members. 

An Ontario Liberal government will commit to $1 per ride on all municipal or provincial transit, including GO, and $40 monthly passes until January 2024. We estimate this will take 400,000 car trips off the road each day. The Liberal platform also specifically mentions expanding GO train service between London, Kitchener and Toronto to reduce travel times by at least 45 minutes. 

Public transit is the best tool to reduce traffic and have fewer cars on the road. On top of any emergency funds, we’ll invest an additional $375 million in annual transit operating funding. This will support more routes, extend hours of service, improve accessibility and more intercity connections. 

James Parr, NDP:

I am a Guelphite that has always struggled with getting to both KW and Toronto via public transit. I am absolutely committed to advocating for all-day 2-way GO between KW-Guelph-Toronto. 

I also support reversing transit cuts by providing 50 per cent operating costs of public transit to municipalities. 

Mike Schreiner, Green Party:

Accessible and affordable transit is a key to solving both the climate and the affordability crises that Ontario faces. I believe that the promotion of public transportation is crucial for the health of our environment and our communities. While transit needs to be built, it needs to be built smart.

For example, I was proud to have successfully fought alongside community members against Metrolinx’s proposal to build in Margaret Greene Park. We could dramatically increase the use of public transit by making transit convenient, frequent, affordable and accessible for all. And we need to ensure we integrate transit with on-demand systems, especially in the suburbs. I will continue to fight for:

● ensuring our region receives all day 2-way GO service

● halving transit fares to offset the rising costs of gas

● adding 4,000 electric and fuel-cell buses by 2030

● electrifying GO Transit and Metrolinx

● tripling public transit trips by 2030 by making transit clean, convenient, frequent, fast, safe, affordable and accessible

● restoring the 50% provincial cost-share for transit operations in order to reduce fare increases for users

● ensuring all transportation decisions are evidence-based, without political interference, and include consultation with planning experts throughout the planning process. Instead of spending billions on Highway 413 and the Holland Marsh Highway, we need to invest in sustainable transit solutions that won’t pave over our childrens’ futures.

Peter McSherry, Progressive Conservative:

No response.